ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays were playing from ahead most of the night Wednesday but between their own mistakes and the Yankees’ constant threats, it seemed like a matter of time until they gave it away.
That happened quickly in the eighth inning, with reliever Ralph Garza Jr., pitching for the first time in 12 days, allowing a leadoff walk and a home run to Jose Trevino that was the difference in a 5-4 final.
For a game the Rays (37-32) led by three going into the sixth, they made quite a mess. And it was a team effort.
Shortstop Taylor Walls committed a run-scoring throwing error. Walls and Randy Arozarena made costly outs on the bases. Their hitters went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. And their pitchers walked eight, one off their season high, as the bullpen let the lead get away.
“Obviously, it’s pretty tough, especially when you jump on them the way we do, kind of have the momentum,’’ Walls said. “You feel like you’re kind of in control of the game and then they just kind of come back and take it away from you. These are series we have to win. We’re going to have to start winning them down the stretch. But I have all the confidence in this team to do it.’’
The mistakes and misplays are going to be costly at all times, but even more so against a Yankees team…